- KY HB 137 was filed in the legislature in December of 2019.
- The bill was amended to allow wagering on collegiate sports teams based in Kentucky.
- Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear fully supports the bill, as noted in his State of the Commonwealth address earlier this week.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – State legislators are wasting no time when it comes to legal sports betting in Kentucky this year. On Wednesday, the House Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations unanimously voted 18-0 to pass a sports betting bill, sending it to the House Floor.
The bill, KY HB 137, is sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig and if the bill is signed into law it would permit horse racing tracks in the state offer retail and mobile sportsbooks in Kentucky.
Key amendments that allowed for the easy passing of his bill include allowing bets to be placed on in-state collegiate teams such as the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals as well as mandating an 18 month period in which mobile bettors must register in-person at the state’s horse racing tracks.
“This bill is not going to solve our challenges, we know that,” said Rep. Al Gentry, one of the co-sponsors of KY HB 137.
“But it is a good first step. Sports betting is already here, fellas and gals. We just want to regulate is and obtain the revenues that are currently leaving the state.”
How Was The Bill Able To Pass So Quickly?
Koenig’s bill was originally pre-filed in the legislature last month which allowed fellow lawmakers to identify any issues they had with it before the session even began.
However, what may have helped the committee act so decisively is that a similar bill had been introduced during the 2019 session.
While that bill, which was introduced by Koenig, ultimately did not pass, it gave lawmakers in the state time to get familiar with the logistics that go into sports betting legalization in Kentucky.
To top it all off, KY Governor Andy Beshear gave his full support for the bill during his State of the Commonwealth on Tuesday.
“A commitment to the future also requires that we create new revenue to meet the growing needs of our state. Right now we are watching more than $500 million dollars in gaming revenue go across the border to states like Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. It’s time to stop that flow. To Use that money for our needs.”
“Representative Adam Koenig has filed a sports betting bill. I fully support it, and we should pass it. But that shouldn’t be the end of the conversation. Because now, all of our neighboring states – most of them Republican led – have embraced expanded gaming, while we are being left behind.”
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.